Spread the Word to End the Use of R-Word! (Video)

Words matter and some words can really hurt.

One such word is the r-word. How often have you heard it casually tossed around?

The Special Olympics has started a campaign to end the use of r-word and today, March 7, has been designated as the day to spread awareness to end the derogatory use of the word. Ellen Seidman of Love That Max and, like myself, the mother of a child with disabilities, has made this video

As Ellen writes,

Ultimately, this isn’t just about a word—it’s about respect. It’s about getting people to consider kids and adults with cognitive impairment equal members of society. It’s not about censorship, either; it’s about starting a conversation on how people can better treat Max and others like him.

Max has enough challenges to overcome in life without being haunted by ghosts of stereotypes past. As his mom, I want to give him every possible advantage. If asking people to not use a word could help my son in some way, you bet I’m going to ask.

Eliminating the r-word isn’t just about =”watching what you say.” It’s a call to remind all of us to take a moment and think: What negative images, what stereotypes and hurtful pre-assumptions, do we harbor about individuals with intellectual disabilities, consciously and unconsciously? Do we hesitate before taking a seat next to someone who might be rocking or flapping their hands; who is a teenager and is watching a Barney video on his iPad?

A Care2 petition calls for an end to r-word and, as of this posting, almost 260,000 people have signed a pledge calling for the same. Please join in the campaign to end the use of the r-word and help in the effort to make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities.

Related Care2 Coverage

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Photo by Saucy Salad


Robert K Pavlick
Robert Pavlick5 years ago

While I would never use the "R word" because it has come to have a really negative connotation; neither do I think it wise to use the "S" word in reference to handicapped people of any genre because it implies that being handicapped is "Special" or superior to being simply average or functional on all levels. Of course a person with two hands isn't any better than a person with one; but the beginning of that person being able to succeed in life is accepting the fact that they do in fact have a disability, rather than putting them into a state of denial.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim5 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Lilithe Magdalene

I don;t use the r-word - for anything. I just don;t use it. Abelism is a reality - remember the same goes for words like "crazy", "insane", "blind", "deaf", "dumb" - to use those words to describe something negative is the same as using the word "gay" as something negative. Abelism sucks for those of us who may be struggling with any number of these conditions. Please be sensitive!

Breanna R.
Breanna R5 years ago

i never call retarded kids retarded.
that's rude.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

Thanks for the reminder.

Andrea A.
Andrea A5 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Robyn Brice
Robyn Vorsa5 years ago

A lot of words are passing out of use now. Mongoloid is now Down's Syndrome. The Spastic Society has changed their name. Spastic was used to describe Cerebral Palsy Retarded is now intellectually disabled or special needs and even that is changing. People are becoming more aware and better educated when it comes to people who have special needs. Unfortunately their are always going to be those who use the word retard, but at least there will always be people out there that care enough not to.

Kristi O.
Kristi O5 years ago

I, too, am tired of having to beat around the bush all the time with regards to using "real' words. While I agree that someone who calls someone a "retard" is being disrespectful, there is a place and a time when the same word is used as a diagnosis as well. It all comes from the intention of the word's use, not the word itself. I believe that some people think they can make the diagnosis less of a reality if the actual word is not used (sorry to disappoint!). I sign many petitions but I won't waste my time with this one.

D.Jean Lubonovich
D.J. Lubonovich5 years ago

This is part of the problem in this country !! Political correctness.I work at a state job and I care for the mentally retarded. I love them dearly and I don't know a single one that is offended by the words mentally retarded.We are restricted from calling things what they are. I have to call a bib a terry cloth clothing protector so that no one will be offended....seriously ? When you go to a lobster dinner what do you ask for? So tired of speaking in definitions ! It will come to the point where we are afraid to say anything at all because some one might be offended. When did we get to be so sensitive? Over sensitive ? Why don't we all just get over ourselves and really communicate? You can only do that if you can speak plainly and not in a derogatory way and not be afraid that the words you use have more impact than what you are saying !